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Old 04-18-2019, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Starter Lock-up

Having been around flatheads for a lot of years, I have encountered the starter lock-up problem several times, always in someone else's car. Its definitely fortunate to know of the problem so time is not wasted chasing all the wrong things. My '40 did it to me for the first time yesterday. The car had been sitting for a number of months not being started. When I went to move cars yesterday I noticed the starter hit unusually hard on the '40. The car needing to get fuel started and died as expected after giving a shot of starter fluid. On the second try only a firm starter solenoid clunk. I knew right away what it was, and how to fix it.

What I did not know was what is actually happening when this occurs. You cant get a look at the bendix until the problem is goes away. Have any of you actually seen a jammed starter bendix? If the can was removed from the housing, you could probably see the problem. Can someone tell me how the jammed bendix occurs and in what state? Curious minds want to know. Can it be blamed on wear on some bendix component? A bent starter shaft (from the unusual hard hit of the starter)? Any ideas?
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starter Lock-up

Russ, Like you, I've not actually seen the jam up. I do know that Bendix springs can break, and ring gears can get chewed up and/or out of alignment on the flywheel, and I also know that a 12v battery can cause these ailments in short order. A quick thing for you to check is the tightness of the two starter mount bolts, and that the small brace is installed from that inside bolt head over to the pan rail.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:39 PM   #3
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Starter Lock-up

I used to have that problem with the A, after ring gear replaced no more jamming--- a few teeth get blunted, worn flat, most times the engine stops in the same areas of ring gear, ---- remove starter when jammed without rotating engine, look with mirror
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starter Lock-up

Dealing with this same problem. A good few swings with a rubber mallet freed her up. It looks like I need to replace both the Bendix and the ring gear as both are not in the greatest of shape. This was my second jam in the past 4-5 weeks. Not sure what caused the jam however.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starter Lock-up

The only time I had a lockup with my '46, was when I had a brain fart, and hit the starter button with the car in gear and clutch out. The starter locked, and pushing the start button only got a click from the solenoid. My two grandsons gave me a short push, popped the clutch in second gear and the car started. Shut it off and the starter work okay.
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